Wednesday, 21 December 2011

T'was the Night Before Christmas

Okay, okay, so it's not quite the night before Christmas yet, but it's sure getting close, and I just couldn't wait to share this poetry with you!  Each week our class studies a different poem.  For the last week before the winter holidays, the poem was "T'was the Night Before Christmas".

First, we worked on the poem as a whole class and individually.  This poem has many great examples of similes (ex. "His nose like a cherry"), so we spent time focusing on similes and writing a few of our own. We also illustrated the poem so we could get our visualizations down on paper.  

Then it was time to practice reciting the poem with our poem partners.  This gives us a chance to build our fluency, so that our oral reading is smooth and expressive.  Normally, during "poem of the week" time, each pair practices the entire poem. "T'was the Night Before Christmas" is a really long poem though, so we decided to divide it up.  The whole class learned the first and last stanzas, then each pair was given one other stanza to recite.  Below, you can see photos of the partners practicing their lines.  Finally, after several practice runs we were ready to record our efforts.  Beneath the photos is Division 9's recitation of "T'was the Night Before Christmas."  Enjoy!

T"was the Night Before Christmas (mp3)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Decorating Gingerbread People

Friday was our last day of school before winter vacation. As a Christmas present to the class, Ms. Birdsall bought supplies to make gingerbread people. With plates full of candy, creamy frosting, and gingerbread cookies just begging to be decorated, we went to work. Check out our delicious results in the video below. (Ms.Birdsall loves making videos with Animoto!)

Friday, 16 December 2011

Student of the Week - Roy

Roy is our student of the week for the amazing job he does in P.E. each week. Roy is an amazing athlete, but more importantly, he shows terrific sportsmanship and always finds ways to make his teammates look good. Congratulations, Roy!

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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Making Noise Makers

Today we did a science performance task to show what we had learned about sound. We had to design and explain a noise maker that could change loudness and pitch. Using recycled materials and everyday items, we went to work, and boy were we creative! Check out the video below to see us at work.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Painting Christmas Ornaments

Every Christmas, Ms. Birdsall's mom, Ms. Curtis, buys a craft for Ms. B to do with her class. Thanks, Ms. Curtis! This year she bought plaster Christmas ornaments and this afternoon we painted them. They turned out beautifully thanks to the students' hard work! Check out the video below to see the students in action.

Try our video maker at Animoto.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Food Drive Update

Division 9 has been doing a wonderful job of running the school food drive to benefit the Surrey Food Bank. Every morning last week, students collected food from all the classes in the school and organized them into boxes. Students also made announcements to encourage others to bring donations and kept track of class and school-wide totals. (We will be using the data in our graphing unit in math this coming week). As of Dec. 9 we had 930 items! We are well on our way to our goal of 1500 items with three more days to go. Thank you to all those people who have donated to the food drive so far.

Press play to hear Langson and Olivia's food drive announcement.

Food Bank Annoucement (mp3)

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Student of the Week - Alexandra

Alexandra is our student of the week for doing a consistently excellent job on her reading response log. Congratulations,Alexandra, keep up the terrific work!

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Ice Skating

On Thursday we had our first field trip of the year to a local ice skating rink.  Some of us teetered along with the help of metal bars, while others whizzed around the arena, but a good time was had by all.  A special thanks goes out to all our parent volunteers for driving and tying many pairs of skates!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sound Videos

Right now in science we are learning about sound.  So far we have experimented with different kinds of vibrations using balloons, paper squawkers and our own vocal cords.  We have also learned how we hear sounds with our ears by making a booklet and acting out the parts of the ear.  Today we used Slinkies to model sound waves.  I will post photos of our activities later in the week, but for now, here are three short videos about sound for you to watch.  What is the most important thing you know about sound?

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Friday Afternoons

Every Friday afternoon there are two special activities that happen in our classroom. The first is our weekly math tournament.  Students are divided into teams of four, which are their "home teams".  All week students practice the week's multiplication/division fact family with their home team.  (Right now we are studying x4.)  On Fridays, students compete with kids from other teams who are of similar ability as them. They take turns being the "teacher", showing the other two people flashcards. Whoever answers correctly first wins the card, and the person with the most cards at the end of the round is the winner. After three rounds, 1st place wins 60 points, 2nd place wins 40 points and 3rd place wins 20 points to take back to their home teams.  Here are some pictures of students during this week's tournament.

The second special activity on Friday afternoons is star time.  Star time is a reward for students who have done a great job during the week.  To qualify for star time in a given week, students must have:

  •  gotten their planner signed every night
  • completed and handed in all homework assignments on time
  • followed all classroom rules
During star time, students may play an educational game, do a puzzle or use math manipulatives.  These activities provide students with opportunities to build logical thinking (e.g. chess, puzzles), vocabulary (e.g. Scrabble, Boggle, Outburst), deductive reasoning (Guess Who?, Head Bandz), and math skills (e.g. Monopoly. Yahtzee), as well as have fun!  Students who do not qualify for star time use the period to catch up on incomplete assignments.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Student of the Week - Aero

Aero is our student of the week for being the first student to bring food for our food drive.  Wonderful initiative, Aero!  He has also done a great job making the chart to keep track of how much food we collect.

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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Food Drive Preparations

As the Christmas season draws near, it is time for our school's annual food drive in support of the Surrey Food Bank. This year the food drive will be organized by Division 9. Today we spent the afternoon working on various committees to get things ready. What excellent teamwork everyone showed!

Designing posters to put up
around the school.
Working on part of the bulletin
board display.
Writing announcements to say over the
P.A. to let other students know about
the food drive.
Organizing how food will be
collected from each classroom.
Typing up a notice to be sent home to
let families know about the food drive.
Creating a chart to keep
track of how much food we gather.

Did you know that the Surrey Food Bank serves 15 000 people every month?!  42% of these people are children and babies. Division 9 is taking initiative and doing their part to make sure that people do not go hungry over the holidays.

The top ten most-needed items at the food bank are:

  • Powdered baby formula
  • Canned fish/meat
  • Healthy cereal (hot or cold)
  • Meals in a tin (pork and beans, stew)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit
  • Wholegrain pasta/rice
  • Pasta sauce
  • Canned and dry soups
  • Mac and cheese
Please donate as generously as you can!

The video below shows some of the people involved with the Surrey Food Bank.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Student of the Week - Ivana

Ivana is our student of the week for making the biggest improvement on today's three times table posttest. Way to go!

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Text Features


This week in reading, we have started learning about nonfiction text features.  Text features are things in nonfiction books that help us to find and better understand information.  A few examples of text features are:
  • diagrams
  • headings
  • glossary
  • captions

Today we worked in partners to do a text feature scavenger hunt using nonfiction books from the school library.  What are some text features you know?  How do they help you when you are reading nonfiction books?